The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted accelerated approval to lecanemab for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have shown promising biological effects of clearing amyloid deposits in the brain that occur in Alzheimer’s disease.
The University of Michigan Health has experts talking about early approval and what it means for the future of Alzheimer’s patient care.
Judith HeidebrinkNeurologist and Clinical Core Co-Lead, Alzheimer’s Disease Center, Michigan
“Although lecanemab is not a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, it may help people with mild symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease to remain independent for a long time.” Therefore, as with any drug therapy, the risks and benefits of individual patients should be carefully considered.Potential side effects of lecanemab include swelling of the brain and/or bleeding. This will require close monitoring of anyone treated with lecanemab, including MRI scans to look for side effects.
“We don’t know if lecanemab can help people with more advanced Alzheimer’s symptoms because the studies focus on early symptoms. But more advanced disease is likely to benefit.” There is reason to believe that lecanemab can prevent symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease when administered to at-risk people? I am thrilled to be participating in the AHEAD 3-45 study.”
Henry PaulsonNeurologist and Director of Alzheimer’s Disease Center, Michigan
“Alzheimer’s disease is a complex disease and many factors are involved in its progression, one of which is amyloid,” he said. “The delay of disease symptoms with lecanemab indicates that targeting amyloid is a viable therapeutic strategy. It gives me hope.”